June 19 – Daily Notes – Amanda

dog birthday

Did your parents ever forget your birthday? Spouse ever forget your anniversary? It’s both embarrassing and hurtful to be forgotten. When the Israelites lost their home and identity to Babylonian exile, they thought it was because God had forgotten them. God had not forgotten them but simply allowed them to face their consequences he had so long protected them from.

1 Kings 20:1-21:29:

  • 1-12 – Ahab realizes that there is little chance they can beat the Arameans. He is willing to concede the best of the Israelites’ possessions, but is not willing to concede the entire city. Even by the way he addresses Ben-Hadad as “my lord and king” it shows that Ahab knows he has lost.
  • 22 – God gave the Israelites victory in this battle, but war always returned in the spring. The prophet urges Ahab to strengthen his army in the meantime.
  • 27 – Paints a very intimidating picture for the Israelites.
  • 31-43 – Once again, Ahab does not follow the instructions of the Lord. God gave Ben-hadad into Ahab’s hands, but Ahab makes a covenant with Ben-hadad in order to gain more land and wealth. The prophet makes it clear that this will result in Ahab’s demise.
  • 15 – Doing the right thing doesn’t always protect you from evil.
  • 27-29 – After all his wrongdoing, Ahab repents and God has mercy on him and saves his punishment for his son. This seems unfair, but presumably, if the son follows the Lord, the punishment might be postponed again.

Acts 12:24-13:15:

  • 1 – They mention Manaen’s friendship with Herod because of how shocking it would have been that a friend of a Herod, would have become a believer. One of the Herod’s tried to have Jesus killed as a baby and another could have stopped his crucifixion but didn’t.
  • 15 – It is unclear if the rulers of the synagogue are also believers and actually wanted to hear what Paul had to say or if they had some sort of obligation to have him speak.

Psalm 137:1-9:

  • 1 – The Israelites were in exile in Babylon for around 70 years. During this time they longed for their culture, home, and identity.
  • 6 – Jerusalem and Zion are often hailed because they were where the temple was and the temple represented the Israelites’ connection with God. When the temple was destroyed and the Israelites were driven out of Jerusalem, they wondered if God had forgotten them.

June 17 – Daily Notes – Amanda

elijah and prophets

Today’s 1 Kings reading includes a very cool story where we see God show up in power just when it seemed like the bad guys were going to win out. This story also shows us that God doesn’t have to conform to our ideas and constructs. In our understanding, wet wood doesn’t burn. In our understanding, dead people don’t come to life. God disagrees.

1 Kings 18:1-46:

  • 7-16 – Though Obadiah was a high-ranking official in Ahab’s kingdom, he followed the Lord. Obadiah, here, fears that Elijah will not present himself to Ahab and Obadiah will look like a liar and be killed.
  • 22-24 – Though we are not normally supposed to put God to the test, Elijah, a prophet of God, was clearly intended to do this.
  • 27 – Elijah taunts the prophets of Baal as they desperately try to get Baal to show up.
  • 39 – God’s power, which proves to be far greater than Baal’s, turns people’s hearts back to him.

Acts 11:1-30:

  • 2 – Yes, the “circumcision party” sounds like a terrible party, but this isn’t actually referring to a party with balloons and confetti. This is simply referring to a group of people who held to Jewish law and custom, but were believers in Christ.
  • 4-18 – It’s beautiful that these Jewish believers find great joy in God extending his grace and salvation to gentiles as well.
  • 26 – The term “Christian” means “little Christs”.

Psalm 135:1-21:

  • This is a psalm recounting a variety of reasons why God is praiseworthy and other gods are not. You could replace verse 8-12 with all the wonderful things God has done for you that give you reason to praise him.

Proverbs 17:12-13:

  • 12 – Well, I think that sums up how undesirable and destructive folly is.